Introducing the Tulum Neighborhood Portal (Beta)

We are pleased to announce the Beta launch of the Tulum Neighborhood Portal!

Tulum Neighborhood Portal (Beta)

A picture is worth a thousand words, but working map is worth a million! Check out the full site at:

http://www.yohman.com/students/2012/lglancy/Tulum/tulum05_07.html

What is this website and what does it do?

The Tulum Neighborhood Portal is a neighborhood resource map for the citizens of the city of Tulum. It is a one-stop resource where community members can find out what public resources are available to them, and where. It is also a forum where the townspeople can express their opinion and make suggestions to their civic leaders about improvements that can be made.

The website maps out a variety of parks, bike rack locations, civic offices, and other points of interest, and includes info windows and photos about the location. These community resources are toggled by category, so viewers can turn them on or off at their viewing convenience.

Tulum is divided into “colonias” or neighborhoods. These colonias are also mapped in a toggled layer, allowing residents to see which colonia they belong to.

In order to connect residents with happenings in the community, a Twitter widget streaming Tulum-related tweets is also featured on the site. This allows community organizers to reach a wider, but Tulum- centered audience when tweeting about events happening in the city.

Why does this matter?

Tulum is a rapidly emerging Caribbean coastal town in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The neighboring global tourism destinations of Cancun and Playa del Carmen are a threat to Tulum’s future, bringing upon it rapid and unmitigated growth. The 18,000 citizens of Tulum are a diverse group of Mayans, Mexicans from other states and international small business‬ owners. These citizens share a common goal: to preserve Tulum’s culture and ecosystems.

With unprecedented growth on the horizon, the Municipality of Tulum hired the Tulum Raiders, to create a citizen engagement tool to help their citizens to shape the future of their communities. Tu Tulum: Tu Colonia means Your Tulum: Your Neighborhood. The neighborhood portal we’ve created is a tool to give the people of Tulum a forum in which to share their visions and to access resources in their communities.

The phases of creation:

The Tulum Neighborhood Portal is a dynamic project that can be modified based on the needs of the Tulum community. Here are visuals of the first phases of our ideas.

Wireframe 1

Wireframe2

New additions, coming soon:

  • Toggle the neighborhood layers separately
  • Create and add additional main driving routes and bike routes
  • Work on the Design, such as adding a flash photo feed of images of community volunteers and celebrations
  • Add a poll using Google Forms and a space to provide recent poll responses
  • Add a general comment box that changes for each neighborhood
  • Make the site Live and encourage people to use it

Challenges:

Turkish bagpipes always seem to get in the way. Apparently, Tulum, the other noun, is a traditional bagpipe of the northeast region of Anatolia, Turkey.  Of more concern to us was the fact that a lot of people tweet about it, so they were showing up in the Tulum Neighborhood Portal Twitter feed. For the final, we will attempt to narrow the tweet search parameters to exclude these tweets.

Deciding on where the neighborhood boundaries would be was complicated. An actual document with these informal boundaries did not exist previously. Similarly, finding the resources to map was a challenge, because this required a lot of on the ground knowledge, as the city is only four years old.

The Tulum Raiders are constantly thinking of was to make the site extremely user friendly and inviting to the diverse population which includes Mayan groups and the foreigners that live there.

Credits:

 Yumi “Coder Extraordinaire”: html coding of website layout and functional features;     weather widget

Lisa: “Neighborhood Info Wrangler”: Geo coding of points of interest, definition and creation of neighborhood KMZ files

Grace: “Design Whiz”: Planning and CSS coding of aesthetic properties of the website; blogging

Paola: “Social Mediabutterfly”: Modifying and implementing the twitter widget into the Tulum Neighborhood Portal; blogging.

 

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